CD Review

Unknown - Demo

By Marcus Pan

UnknownUnknownOnce again the hardcore thrash/industrial torch will be passed to Germany (from Texas) with the onset of new project Unknown. DJ Chris L joins with Andy Age (x-Dorsetshire, x-Relatives Menschsein) and Stefan N (x-Dreadful Shadows) to form this triplet of barrage-inducing noise makers. If you've been to the Zillo Festival this past year, you've probably seen them. Currently touring through Europe until March, and following thereafter with a South African tour as well, Unknown are an unusual band that managed to work themselves upwards prior to releasing their first album. By the time you read this, however, their debut release should be available.

Unknown's sound is a hybrid of mechanical-synths, guitar riffs and electronics over top of which is Chris' crisp and strong vocals. They blend these influences together creating a fresh and new sound that isn't just Ministry-guitars or Kraftwerk blips. It is a powerful combination of these with chorale arrangements, strong percussion and other textures coalescing together into a well-tuned yet heavy and hardcore sound. Not all the sounds that Unknown use are purely metallic riffs, and this is what makes their work fresh and new. They aren't afraid to break the guitar-driven rhythm with the occasional synth-computeresque breakdowns and slow downs throughout the three singles I was able to get my hands on.

UnknownThere are three tracks here, all enjoyable and all stompable. And long time readers are aware of how into the whole schtomp-around thing I can be. The first, Sometimes, has a synth-chorale arrangement in the background as it opens (for some reason it reminds me of Noxious Emotion) and moves into a strong and riveting guitar (synth?) track. The synth chords from the background will return and provide a strange yet excellent combination with the techno-like guitar. Chris' vocals are strong, vox-less (as far as I can tell) and has a preacher effect to it in this track. Holy War is another that opens with keyboards. The electronic sounds here seem to be a bit more technoish providing an EBM landscape to the background behind the guitar work. Lastly, if I had to pick a favorite track I think Nation of Fear would be the winner on this demo. It's a powerful song and one I can probably wreak havoc to. I'm not sure whether it's the well-done electronica backgrounds or the sampled "Son of a bitch!" scream they used. It even breaks into a Gregorian chant slowdown at points without losing its power or speed.

Unknown combine electronica and thrash/industrial to create, thus far, a 3-song demo CD that is riveting and stompable. They have a fresh, new sound that, with the elements they use, should have no trouble capturing a wide audience from multiple music genres. The only problem with this? They just might have to change their name, because with any luck they won't be Unknown for very long.

Contact Information:
Post: Black Centric, Susanne Siegmanski, Ossietzkystr. 25, 13 187, Berlin, Germany
Telephone: 0049-(0)30-48 09 83 20
Fax: 0049-(0)30-613 47 31
Cellular: 0172-387 9477